Background: Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) are moving towards a Consumer Directed Care (CDC) model of care. There are limited examples of CDC in ageing research, and no evaluation of a comprehensive CDC intervention in residential care was located. This study will implement and evaluate a staff training program, Resident at the Center of Care (RCC), designed to facilitate and drive CDC in residential care.
Methods: The study will adopt a cluster randomized controlled design with 39 facilities randomly allocated to one of three conditions: delivery of the RCC program plus additional organizational support, delivery of the program without additional support, and care as usual. A total of 834 staff (22 in each facility, half senior, half general staff) as well as 744 residents (20 in each facility) will be recruited to participate in the study. The RCC program comprises five sessions spread over nine weeks: Session 1 clarifies CDC principles; Sessions 2 to 5 focus on skills to build and maintain working relationships with residents, as well as identifying organizational barriers and facilitators regarding the implementation of CDC. The primary outcome measure is resident quality of life. Secondary outcome measures are resident measures of choice and control, the working relationship between resident and staff; staff reports of transformational leadership, job satisfaction, intention to quit, experience of CDC, work role stress, organizational climate, and organizational readiness for change. All measures will be completed at four time points: preintervention, 3-months, 6-months, and 12-month follow-up. Primary analyses will be conducted on an intention to treat basis. Outcomes for the three conditions will be compared with multilevel linear regression modelling.
Discussion: The RCC program is designed to improve the knowledge and skills of staff and encourage transformational leadership and organizational change that supports implementation of CDC. The overarching goal is to improve the quality of life and care of older people living in residential care.
Trial registration: ACTRN12618000779279; Registered 9 May 2018 with the Australian and New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry (ANZCTR; http://www.anzctr.org.au/).